baking powder vs baking soda

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baking powder vs baking soda

Postby Howard » Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:55 am

It's amazing how much chemistry I've forgotten over the years :oops:

Anyway here's a nice readable little presentation on baking soda vs baking powder: http://www.ellenskitchen.com/pantry/bsbp.html

Short version - baking soda is good if you have a liquid acid in the stuff to be baked (yogurt, buttermilk, wine, lemon juice, vinegar, etc). Baking powder has a dry acid (usually potassium acid tartrate and tartaric acid). You need baking powder if you don't have enough acid in whatever it is you're baking. Double acting baking powder usually has sodium aluminum sulfate as a second acid. The second action is the rise you get when the batter is heated and the aluminum sulfate can combine with the sodium bicarb.

Thought you'd like to know.
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Re: baking powder vs baking soda

Postby Linda R. (NC) » Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:52 am

On a related note, here are some helpful tests that were printed in our paper some years back. I tried them both and they do work.

Test for Baking Powder and Baking Soda

If your baking powder is more than 6 months old, it may have lost its ability to raise baked goods the way it was intended. Here is a simple test to find out if it’s still good.

Add one teaspoon baking powder to ½ cup hot water and look for mixture to bubble like alka seltzer. If it doesn’t, put your baking powder out to pasture.

There is a test for baking soda as well.

In a small cup, stir one teaspoon into two tablespoons of white vinegar. It should fizz and froth. Discard if you don’t see a vigorous chemical reaction

Humidity is the greatest enemy of chemical leavens. Always store in an airtight container in a dry part of your cabinet, and date the bottom of the box after purchase.
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Re: baking powder vs baking soda

Postby ChefCarey » Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:44 am

Linda R. (NC) wrote:On a related note, here are some helpful tests that were printed in our paper some years back. I tried them both and they do work.

Test for Baking Powder and Baking Soda

If your baking powder is more than 6 months old, it may have lost its ability to raise baked goods the way it was intended. Here is a simple test to find out if it’s still good.

Add one teaspoon baking powder to ½ cup hot water and look for mixture to bubble like alka seltzer. If it doesn’t, put your baking powder out to pasture.

There is a test for baking soda as well.

In a small cup, stir one teaspoon into two tablespoons of white vinegar. It should fizz and froth. Discard if you don’t see a vigorous chemical reaction

Humidity is the greatest enemy of chemical leavens. Always store in an airtight container in a dry part of your cabinet, and date the bottom of the box after purchase.


Baking soda and vinegar will also clean your car's battery terminals.
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Re: baking powder vs baking soda

Postby Larry Greenly » Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:13 pm

You can also prevent battery terminal corrosion by pouring corn syrup over them. It hardens into a plastic-like substance. Voila! No corrosion. And it really works.
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Re: baking powder vs baking soda

Postby Thomas » Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:24 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:You can also prevent battery terminal corrosion by pouring corn syrup over them. It hardens into a plastic-like substance. Voila! No corrosion. And it really works.


Finally--a reason for corn syrup!!!
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Re: baking powder vs baking soda

Postby Howard » Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:37 pm

On a related note, here are some helpful tests that were printed in our paper some years back. I tried them both and they do work.

Test for Baking Powder and Baking Soda

If your baking powder is more than 6 months old, it may have lost its ability to raise baked goods the way it was intended. Here is a simple test to find out if it’s still good.

Add one teaspoon baking powder to ½ cup hot water and look for mixture to bubble like alka seltzer. If it doesn’t, put your baking powder out to pasture.

There is a test for baking soda as well.

In a small cup, stir one teaspoon into two tablespoons of white vinegar. It should fizz and froth. Discard if you don’t see a vigorous chemical reaction

Humidity is the greatest enemy of chemical leavens. Always store in an airtight container in a dry part of your cabinet, and date the bottom of the box after purchase.


Thanks Linda. I'm getting more confident at inventing "recipes" as I go and was going to put together some whole wheat/ oatmeal pancakes. I knew I needed some leavening but couldn't remember why I'd use which. Speaking of whole wheat/oatmeal pancakes any idea on how yogurt might add to the mix?
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